The Missouri State Water Patrol is getting some added punch – on water or dry land – on Saturday. Today, the Water Patrol can enforce laws on the waterways and within 600 feet of shoreline, as well as on federal and state lands adjoining those waterways. But if somebody burglarizes your home a mile from a patrol-protected lake, the water patrol can’t help you. The new law lets water patrol officers goe beyond present areas to enforce water laws. The Patrol’s deputy commander, Jim Glover, says the law taking effect Saturday makes the patrol more of a statewide law enforcement group. Under present law, Water Patrol officers cannot arrest somebody who commits a crime inside its own headquaters – the Patrol has to call a police department or sheriff’s office. After Saturday, Water Patrol officers can defend their own turf and follow offenders beyond their limited present boundaries. Glover says the new law makes the Patrol a better law enforcement agency.
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